Turn the Tide of Suicide, Pleasetalk.org and the Union of Students of Ireland brought their collective campaign ‘Send Silence Packing’ to Athlone Institute of Technology last Thursday, February 25.
The initiative included a public display of 131 backpacks, representing the average number of college students who die by suicide in Ireland each year. Send Silence Packing is designed to raise awareness about the impact of suicide, connect students to mental health supports and inspire action for suicide prevention.
“Send Silence Packing is a clear opportunity to start a conversation about suicide prevention and for our participating advisors to speak with students as to how they might broach the topic of suicidal crisis,” according to Scott Ahern of Turn the Tide of Suicide. “Our messages are simple: be there for someone by simply listening; reach out when times are tough; and find your on-campus and off-campus support services at Pleasetalk.org
“We’re delighted to join forces with Pleasetalk.org and the Union of Students of Ireland for this initiative. We all share the same concerns regarding the numbers dying by suicide each year in Ireland and realise that by working together our messages will hopefully garner more attention and help those in suicidal crisis.”
“Talking to someone we trust is often the hardest step to take but the most crucial step,” according to Treasa Hanniffy of Pleasetalk.org “This initiative highlights the need for us to send silence packing and tackle the stigma attached to mental health and suicide which prevents young people from reaching out and seeking help.”